I try to keep my fictional characters as... well, fictional as possible. It is the great rule of all writers. Our characters are totally made up out of our heads and have nothing to do with the people we know and love. We'd never write in someone we don't like and then kill them off. That would be totally not cool. And I'd NEVER write totally cool, butt kicking characters and have them look like someone I know. That would be devastatingly horrible.
Okay, I am lying. The truth is that most of the characters I write about are people I know now or knew growing up. ALL of the Puckerbush High School teacher's names are teachers I had in elementary, middle and high school. Seeing as the majority of my characters are the folks I live with and are a part of my life, I want to introduce you to a few of them. (that is if they agree to send me a picture of them and allow me to post it)
In The Warrior's Return, Ian meets Marvin Sanders. Dr. Sanders is a veterinary in Puckerbush who takes care of the town's menagerie of four legged furry friends. Dr. Sanders name was poached from a real Dr. Sanders I worked for while I was in college. It was a tough job cleaning up after puking cats and poopy dogs, but it paid the bills.
The personality and physical description of Marvin Sanders came from this guy:
This is Les Bassett.
Should you have the privilege of meeting this man, you should know that he has an amazing sense of humor. He is a straight talking fellow with a lot of fight in him. He is the guy who fist bumps my son at church, works hard and is one heck of a loyal father, grandfather and friend. He'd give you the shirt off his back, arrives early to church and stays late to help clean up.
As I was creating Marvin, I did a mental flip through all the people I knew that would be that rock of support for Ian as he went through tough times. Marvin needed to be kind with a core of steel. I needed someone older with the life experience to give Ian advice and yet wise enough to stand back and let Ian make the final choice.
As I talked to his daughter and wife (that another thing writers never reveal...we may be just "chatting" with you but really we are filing away information like crazy) it was clear that the man for the job, the rock and support was Les.
It's just an added bonus that Les is also a fan of my books. I'd love to add a spoiler and tell you what happens to Marvin in The Cursed Dagger, but I'm not. You're going to have to read it.
Next time: Meet Corbin's doppleganger!